Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ideas for mini-skein yarn packs

It is sunny at my home and I hope you are experiencing the same. Time to move past Winter winds, ice and snow and on to some sunnier weather. Sunshine increases creativity!

Two weeks ago I wrote about the mini-skein yarn pack craze. Mini-skeins are packs of yarn that contain 4 to 6 (or more) small skeins of yarn in colors that work together. Most packs contain yarns of very different colors but others are "gradients" meaning that each small skein of yarn is in the same color family but ranges in intensity.

I received a number of inquires in the shop, on Facebook, and via email from knitters who asked me to provide some photos and suggestions on what to knit with them. I am very glad to oblige and I hope my enthusiasm for them shows through in these photos. In the last blog post I listed a few pattern suggestions, so please refer to it for more ideas. I'm in the shop most Saturdays, so please don't hesitate to stop in and ask me more questions. You are also welcome to email me at

Here are photos of three very different projects I'm knitting from mini-skein sets that each contain five small skeins of yarn. Now that I'm writing this blog and have the photos taken I can finish them! They will be on display in the shop as they are completed. All of my mini-skein sets are from Wonderland Yarns in Brattleboro, VT. The yarn is soft, beautifully dyed, and there is huge yardage in each pack.

In addition to using the sets alone, consider combining them with a large complimentary skein of Wonderland Yarn. The projects in these photos are all knit in fingering weight. Also in stock are a few combo packs of sport weight with a full skein of complimentary yarn. There are so many possibilities ... let your creativity go wild!

Spring is just around the corner so I chose this lovely pack to knit the always popular side-to-side shawl "Hitchhiker." I just started the second color.

I can't wait to get to these other colors ....

These just scream Spring and this will be perfect for a cool evening.

Do you need a lovely, easy-to-knit quick gift? Mother's Day is just around the corner.

Thorne Cowl has a unique way of using the five colors. Four are the main cowl sections, while the fifth divides and accents the design. I can't wait to finish this one!

I'm getting close ... only two colors to go!

I love this pattern -- Kalari Shawl. It is such an easy knit. I chose a pack of mini-skeins in some of my favorite colors. I will have this completed before Autumn...I think these are rich Autumn looking colors. But, pick any color combo and start knitting! Make the design your own.

I just keep knitting with the new color as the previous ends.

Breath-taking color combination....

The women at Wonderland Yarns are creative and have a fabulous eye for color. I also look forward to their new combinations.

If you are hesitant to start but really want to knit with a pack of mini-skeins, please stop in and see me. I will gladly help you get started and guide you through your journey.

Until next time...

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Mini-Skein Craze

Knitting projects can range in size from a small simple cowl to a large sweater or shawl. Honestly, I don't knit a lot of larger projects because I get bored and often don't finish them. That is shallow on my part but it's just the truth.

However, since I opened Main Street Yarn I have discovered the fabulous mini-skein sets that range from gradients of one color to each skein being a different color, although workable with the others. Mini-skein sets can be scary. Seriously...but they are really mind-stimulating and will get your creative juices flowing.

This section of Main Street Yarn is devoted to mini-skein sets. When the box of yarn arrives tomorrow from Frabjous Fibers & Wonderland Yarn in Brattleboro, VT the new "Pack of the Month" will be added. The teaser photo posted on their Facebook page is amazing. I love it so much I ordered one for myself!

Mini-skein sets combine nicely with a full skein of yarn to make larger projects, add depth to a project or just make it something special that you like. Mini-skein sets from Frabjous Fibers are available in fingering, sport and worsted weights.

Look at patterns on and let your imagination go wild. Here are a few that work great with a pack of mini skeins: Mad mini-wrap, Zeccola cowl, Kalari, Tessie, Brush Creek Cowl, Brush Creek Shawl, Deepend, Antarkis, Hitchhiker and Just Yarning Around.

Have questions? Want to show off a finished project? I can't wait to hear from you.

Next blog posting: What to do with Unfinished Projects (referred to as UFOs)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Socks, Socks and ... Socks

I love sock knitting. I am addicted to sock knitting. I have a drawer full of socks and recently cleared space in a second drawer. That's a lot of socks but I wear them 365 days a year. Yep. Every day.

Socks amuse me. The construction is interesting and knitting them is NOT as hard as most people think. Take a class in your local yarn shop and learn. Remember, I said sock knitting is addictive. You have been warned.

Socks are fun because of the wide range of available yarn -- solids, variegated, self-striping, and fair isle. Confession -- I don't own a pair of solid colored socks. Nope. I love the designs. Their changes keep me amused while knitting.

These socks are representative of my "collection." The top three are wool/nylon blends, while the lighted colored one on the bottom is a wool/cotton/nylon blend which I consider to be a "summer/early Autumn" sock.

Socks can be knitted cuff down or toe up. I prefer cuff down using 5 double-pointed knitting needles. Find your comfort level and learn to knit socks. There is a wide variety of methods including knitting both socks at the same time to help avoid the challenge of "second sock syndrome" which means -- never knitting the second sock. I recently finished 3 pair that were started a long time ago and now I allow myself to case on a few new pair. I keep one pair in the car in case I get stuck somewhere, have one pair at work to knit during lunchtime, and one pair at home for evening and weekend knitting. I'm never without a socks -- they are a small and very portable project.

There is a huge variety of commercial sock yarns which is what I primarily use for my socks. Some of the hand-dyed yarns are gorgeous in socks -- I have a pair on the needles right now using Holiday Yarns hand-dyed fingering weight. I urge you to make sure the fingering weight is sturdy and is a blend with nylon. Socks  are on your feet so get hard use. You don't want them to wear through quickly.

I wash mine in a mesh bag in the washing machine on gentle. I hang them over the bathroom towel rack to dry. I advise never putting them into the dryer or they very possible will shrink enough to be worn by a doll.

If you want to talk sock knitting, please stop at Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, PA. I'm there on Saturdays. I only knit cuff down on DPNs, so my assistance with other methods is limited. Here is a good link to check out for more information

Have a great week. See you next time.